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Re: 89 200 tqa - alternator belt keeps breaking
A couple of points in addition to those already posted to you.
To properly adjust the alternator, all mounting bolts have to be
loosened and retightened after the adjustment is made. This includes the
mounting bolts on the adjustment rack in front - you can't just loosen the
alternator bolt because it will bind on the toothed rack as the alternator
swings. The rack arm has to be loosened so the rack can follow the arc of
the alternator. If you don't do this, the tension you feel on the adjusting
star wheel may be that of it binding on the rack, rather than the tension on
The pulleys have a metric cross section and North American v-belts with
Imperial cross sections do not fit the grooves too well. The NA belts wear
in quickly and become loose, requiring several re-tightenings. Even the
properly sized metric belts have to be re-tightened a couple of times after
they are newly installed. The belt is a little undersized for the load and
stretches quite a bit when new.
I have had belts loosen to the point where the alternator stops charging
at idle ( the first sign of a loose belt, followed soon thereafter by the
happy chirping sound of a slipping belt), but I have never had one come off.
Your pulleys my be misaligned - check them with a straight edge.
'91 200q 280k km
----- Original Message -----
From: Samir Shah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Quattro List <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 1999 7:54 PM
Subject: 89 200 tqa - alternator belt keeps breaking
> Well, this afternoon the 200 lost its 5th alternator belt during my 5
> month ownership tenure. Any idea why this keeps happening? Is there a
> trick to this?
> This has happened with many different brands of belts - including an
> Audi branded Gates (Made in the USA), and Continental (made in Germany).
> This last one lasted a whole month!
> When I put them in, I need to use a lot of leverage to get it tight
> enough that it does not squeal, which seems very unusual. I've put in a
> new nut and bolt too.
> I actually was under the car this morning, changing the cat, and checked
> the belt - it was looser than when I had installed it a few weeks ago.
> Am I supposed to retighten it in a week or so? Do they get loose with
> The alternator is a rebuilt unit that looks quite fresh. It spins
> freely, and generates stable power. Does not make any funny noises
> Luckily this happened with me in the car, and the baby had just been
> fed. It'd be a real disaster if this happened to my wife when she had
> the baby with her. I now carry 2 extra belts, + all needed tools to
> change it, in the car, but I still don't feel confident enough about the
> car to turn it back over to my wife.
> Thanks in advance. I am getting very stressed about this car. Samir.